Notre Dame Football Spring ’24 Position Breakdown: Offensive Line

As Notre Dame's offensive line undergoes major changes, the team balances the departure of key players with the arrival of promising newcomers. Can they sustain their scoring prowess amidst transition and new challenges?

A primary reason why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have continued to be able to put a healthy supply of points on the board is because of the perennial success of the team’s offensive line. Keeping quarterbacks upright to connect with receivers and opening up holes for running backs is the end result of those efforts. However, the Irish now have the burden of replacing both starting tackles as well as the team’s center.


Those tackles are likely to both be selected early in next month’s NFL Draft, with Joe Alt probably going among the first 10 players. Meanwhile, Blake Fisher is likely to last until the second round. Still, that achievement isn’t surprising, given the pipeline of Irish tackles that have continued to succeed at the pro level.

In addition to those losses. center Zeke Correll entered the transfer portal and landed at North Carolina State. Correll’s size worked best at center as a stint at guard clearly showed. His departure isn’t as much a concern as Alt and Fisher’s, with the depth in place to keep the machine humming.

The transfers of Michael Carmody and Joey Tanona likely didn’t cause any gnashing of teeth for Notre Dame coaches. Carmody didn’t play much during his tenure with the Irish due to his struggle to stay healthy. Even when able to compete, his pass protection was suspect. In the case of Tanona, the aftereffects of an auto accident kept him off the field the past two seasons, with his rebirth at Purdue an effort to get back to his early promise.


The next generation of the Irish offensive line will have a trio of early enrollees quickly getting their feet wet. The hope is that their development is expedited, providing quality depth. In a best-case scenario, this immediate infusion of new talent can grab the starting reins and help bolster the unit for at least the next few years.

Styles Prescod will take his shot among the offensive tackles. Weighing in at 280 pounds and standing six-foot-five, Prescod may not break through during this period but from a long-range perspective, his future seems bright. He showed a knack for run blocking during his high school days and is an athletic presence with size to match.

A candidate for the inside of the line, either at guard or center is Peter Jones, with one comparison linking him with former Irish lineman Tommy Kraemer. He has a similar frame to Prescod and shows enough versatility that, if necessary, he could see action in the tackle spot.

The final newcomer on the line is Anthonie Knapp, who could be in the same position as Jones. Possessing the talent to play at either guard or tackle, the Irish currently see him as more of an inside option, potentially at center. He’s got the demeanor that figures to mesh well with offensive line coach Joe Rudolph.

A Look Back and Ahead

Any struggles from last year’s offensive line usually coincided with either a Notre Dame loss or a hard-fought victory. That basic fact is brought home when noting that of the 16 sacks allowed last season, seven came during the three defeats on the year. In addition, six more came during two wins, both with hostile crowds making plenty of noise.

Being able to adapt in such situations is something that a portion of the returnees on the line need to improve on this season. When spring ball started, only one senior was on the first team two-deep. That player, Tosh Baker, doesn’t have a lot of experience on the field as he prepares to take over the right tackle spot.

On the other side, Charles Jagusah will be tasked with protecting the blindside of Riley Leonard or whoever gets behind center. For reserves, Aamil Wagner and Sullivan Absher are the most likely candidates to replace them if injury strikes.

Billy Schrauth and Pat Coogan are set to be at the inside guard slots, with Ashton Craig holding. Coogan has been with the Irish longer, but the upside for Schrauth and Coogan is much higher. The latter two were both inserted as starters last November after injuries forced the changes.

Among the reserves on the inside, Rocco Spindler is a potential candidate to take over a guard spot. His season ended last year in the loss at Clemson when he tore his MCL.His spring performance last year laid the groundwork for him to start.

The fact that Leonard has a good deal more mobility than Sam Hartman may help avoid some sacks this season. However, this unit also needs to offer a boost to the running game, with that group having almost as many question marks. They’ll get an early test when they have to deal with a vocal Texas A&M crowd in the opening clash.

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One Comment

  1. Sounds like alot of question marks at key positions. This will probably translate to early season inconsistent play by
    both OL and new QB who may be running for his life at time. We better have a decent running QB in any case.

    btw, what was the reason for Zeke Correll’s transfer to NC State?

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